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Old 08-06-2007, 05:10 AM   #1
BakedStuffedHuman
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Jobe's Aquatic Plant Fertilizer Spikes


I have seen and read opinions about the Fern/Palm spikes and the Household/Flowering spikes.

But I have yet to hear from anyone who has used these: http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...Id=18011843153

They say they are made for the roots, and will not encourage algae growth. I think they are primarily made for ponds, but seem safe for delicate goldfish.

Has anyone actually used this specific type of Jobe's?
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:34 AM   #2
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Neat find. I've never seen these before. If the 8-24-8 represents the usual NPK ratio, it would seem that these spikes would not be ideal for most tanks. May create P issues, unless used in very small doses.

I'd be curious to hear some testimonials, if there are any out there.....

*Found some additional info: http://www.starnursery.com/show_deta...23&product=526
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:48 AM   #3
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It is said that using substrate fertilizers are one way to prevent algae. Allegedly plants can feed through their leaves and their roots but prefer to feed through their roots. Algae on the other hand likes to feed on nutrients in the water column and must compete with plant leaves for natural nutrients(uneaten or digested waste). Using substrate fertilizers apparently "locks in" nutrients that can only be accessed by plant roots and not algae. And I guess as long as you don't have an overstocked tank where fish waste is excessive, as long as you don't have very few plants in relation, as long as you are not overfeeding, as long as you are keeping up with water changes, "in theory" using only substrate fertilizers should prevent or keep algae to a minimum.

Source: http://www.malloftheworld.com/aquarium/part2.htm

I too would be curious as to some testimonials out there.
With respect to use of substrate fertilizers as a algae preventative, this is on my list of things to test.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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It says will not promote algae. I know the spikes are large, so I was going to cut them up into very small pieces.

They are used for ponds, so I would assume safe for fish???
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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Tell ya what, toss one in a higher light tank and wait if you think they will not cause algae

Asfar as algae and nutrients in the water column, it's been 12 years since that was shown to be balonius maxmimus for planted aquariums.

NH4?
That is another animal.
Jobes?
They use urea and NH4.

NO3?
Nope, not at all over a extremely wide range, low/absent often induce BGA though for NO3(likely low absent NH4 as well in combo).

There's very stronbg research support for these observations in the literature as well, there' no correlation between algae and aquatic plant and trophic nutrient status in lakes(See Bauchann Canfield et al, 1984, 2004) for plenty of studies on hundreds, not a few, lakes that are shallow, like our tanks, warm/subtropical, like our tanks, full of plants, like our tanks.

Not some icy northern peat bog in Europe, even there it's debatable if the research is good.

Generally they find lots of plants.

Same deal in nutrient rich streams.

Plants need more stable conditions, much like our tanks, to thrive.

This is hardly a new revaltion.
Anyone desiring a debate on the subject is welcomed to try, but every researcher I know that knows a hill of beans about aquatic macrophytes will pound you if you are specific about the plants as well as the algae in a shallow warmer situation and with 30-50% or more coverage.

It's easy to disprove such a myth, and anyone can do it if they have enough control to grow plants well to begin with.
Jobes are only an issue if they get pulled up into the water column and you enjoy green water.

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Old 08-08-2007, 02:21 AM   #6
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Um, ok.

So will they help the plants?
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:50 AM   #7
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My thoughts, exactly, Baked!
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BakedStuffedHuman View Post
Um, ok.

So will they help the plants?
I think he was debating/correcting another poster..

Well it is fertilizer, so yes.. it will help the plants.

I think Unirdna's post was spot on. Is it worth the trouble, probably not. I suppose you could keep track of how much is leaking into water column, how much the plants are pulling from the tabs opposed to the water column dosing.. and adjust from there.

Substrate fert, according to more recent methodology, is more of a backup opposed to front line feeding.

Edit: Cruising the forums I found a nice thread about greenwater, and using jobes was one of the best was of purposely inducing it.

Anyhow, look at your CO2 regime, dosing calculations, and lighting before you start adding them.

As for myself, I look at all the great tanks out there, and the people that keep them for guidance. They aren't using root tab type fertilizers for the most part, and are getting great growth. When I master their techniques I may explore outside their methodology...
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BakedStuffedHuman View Post
Um, ok.

So will they help the plants?
Yep, if you use them right, do not move things around much.
They ARE EASY AND CHEAP.
And you do not need them really if you have good water column ferts, but both does not hurt either and can amply some species perhaps, which you may or may not want.

So use with respect and care and if you do pull one up, do a large water change asap.That should prevent the algae bloom.

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Old 08-08-2007, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonlime View Post

Substrate fert, according to more recent methodology, is more of a backup opposed to front line feeding.
The old method was to use a pure or lean as possible water column and rich sediment. I use this at the lab and it works well also. Plants will take from both locations, so I let them chose. the sediment can also act as back up for the water column if it dips too low, so they compliment one another rather than "either or" mentality.
Also, emergent growth of aquatics obvious derive all the nutrients other than CO2 from the sediments and clearly that works as well. Most all aquatics do well in terrariums for example.

Many terrestrials plants also can do foliar uptake as well.


Quote:
Edit: Cruising the forums I found a nice thread about greenwater, and using jobes was one of the best was of purposely inducing it.

Anyhow, look at your CO2 regime, dosing calculations, and lighting before you start adding them.

As for myself, I look at all the great tanks out there, and the people that keep them for guidance. They aren't using root tab type fertilizers for the most part, and are getting great growth. When I master their techniques I may explore outside their methodology...
ADA uses sediment ferts, the ADA aqua soil, the powersand etc.
Non CO2 methods typically use a richer sediment.

I'd suggest mastering both the water column and the sediment.
It's more difficult to measure the sediment for hobbyists.

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Old 08-08-2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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So Jobes is a sound idea?

How can one control the rate of dissolution of the spike, in relation to what the plants are using?

Could one make some sort of spike using say clay and a mix of ferts more suited to planted aquaria?
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:34 AM   #12
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Yes if you use them and do not move things around(like for months) or do large water changes if you do.

Many folks have long used these in the past, this has been around for no less than 12-14 years or so.

Many no longer use them as green water and other algae issues caused many to avoid then when they moved something later and forgot about the them under a sword etc.

The NH4 is the issue.

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Old 08-09-2007, 01:40 AM   #13
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I know that they are fairly large spikes, and that moving them around would cause algae.

I was thinking of cutting them into very, very small places to place at the roots of my vals and swords, smaller than a normal root tab. Then hopefully they will dissolve properly in a month or two before I move anything around.

Do you think that is a good approach?
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:15 PM   #14
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I guess an argument can be made for anything being right or wrong, good or bad. Sometimes I do a Google Search and see what several peoples' experiences are with something instead of deciding what to do based on what a few people tell me on a forum.

I believe that there are differences in root tabs(sometimes even in the NPK ratios, additional ingredients, and/or special coatings that would impact on their solvency rate over time), so one has to be careful not to make blanket statements that all root tabs can cause green water. I don't know much about Jobe spikes to be honest with you, but I have heard many good things based on posts I have seen on other forums about aquariumplants dot com's own substrate tablets.
http://www.aquariumplants.com/product_p/pr1328.htm

And I do not work for or ap so I have no interest in promoting their products. If anything, I have had my share of problems with them, but they have managed to resolve those and I cannot say they are a bad company or diss them any longer.

For me, this is one of those issues that I would experiment with for myself to see what happens before I draw conclusions about its value. Even if someone already has done an experiment, I would be careful about going by those results as you may find your results to be different based on differing water parameters, differences in plants used, differences in substrate, differences in fish stock, frequency of water changes, levels of light, use injection/noninjection of C02, etc.,
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BakedStuffedHuman View Post
I know that they are fairly large spikes, and that moving them around would cause algae.

I was thinking of cutting them into very, very small places to place at the roots of my vals and swords, smaller than a normal root tab. Then hopefully they will dissolve properly in a month or two before I move anything around.

Do you think that is a good approach?
I'd plan on 2-3 month at minimum.
Many folks have used them in the past.

But yes, you want to cut them up and insert deep.

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